Spike is an adult blood python. Now everyone I show him to, makes a face when I tell them that. I know it sounds bad, but the name comes from their color, “Oxblood” or dark red. He’s a hissy snake, as a blood python’s nature is to be cranky. However, unlike some of my gentle ball pythons and corn snakes, this guy has never bitten me…..YET. Blood python size, unlike many other snakes, is more about width than length. Your well-cared-for blood python is always going to look overfed. One thing I find fascinating about them is that they “feel” different when you pick them up. Rather than feeling like a muscular garden hose, they feel soft and “mushy”. That’s the only way I can describe it. They’re a heavy-bodied snake which makes it extremely easy for them to constrict their prey. When we first got him, I honestly thought there was something wrong with him until I discovered that’s just how they are.
The Blood Python is the perfect example of a snake surrounded by misconceptions. They are not venomous, they are not bloodthirsty, and because they hiss a lot does not make them particularly nasty, if they are properly cared for.
The blood python is NOT for the new snake keeper. They have very specific heat and humidity requirements and are very easily stressed. Their quality of care directly and very easily affects their temperament. They are by nature more lethargic than many other snakes, so it is harder to tell if something is wrong than with a corn snake or boa, for example. I wouldn’t recommend anyone take on the challenge of a blood until they’ve had a few years of experience with easier snakes, so they know how to tell if something is wrong.